Many of us long for the day when we’ll finish work for good, but the retirement dream can end up being a long way from reality.
Going from the routine of a nine-to-five job to having all your time free often comes as a huge shock to the system, so it’s a good idea to plan how you’re going to fill your time.
Here are our top tips to make adapting to retirement easier.
Have a routine
Building some structure into your day can ensure you stay productive and stop you feeling aimless. For example, you might decide to start your day with a walk, followed by a catch up with friends, and then getting any errands done. You don’t have to be particularly rigid about it but knowing roughly what you’re going to do each day can help make your retirement happy and fulfilling.
Indulge your passions
Is there a hobby you’ve always wanted to take up, but have never previously had the time to do it? There are usually lots of local courses available to help you get started, so see if you can sign up to one. Plenty of them are targeted at retirees too and it can be a great way of meeting other people who’ve recently stopped work.
Exercising daily, even if it’s just a stroll to the local newsagent to pick up the paper, can help you keep healthy in retirement. You might decide you want to try something you’ve never done before, perhaps yoga or pilates, or join a local rambling or cycling club.
Volunteering is not only very rewarding but can also help you gain new skills and help you meet people. Local schools, libraries and charity shops are often looking for volunteers, but there are also various websites which can help you find volunteering opportunities in your local area.
For example, the site www.do-it.org, enables you to enter your postcode and it’ll come up with nearby places you can volunteer. The sites Volunteering England, Volunteer Scotland, and Volunteering Wales also help you to connect with organisations which need support.
Set up your own business
Lots of people use their retirement to become ‘olderpreneurs’ and set up their own business. If you are thinking about taking this route, make sure you consider the potential costs involved very carefully. Although pension freedoms have made it easier to dip into your retirement savings to help fund a new venture, taking out too much could land you with a hefty tax bill. Remember too that ploughing money into your business could mean you have less to live on later.
Consider stopping work gradually
If you love your job and can’t face stopping altogether at retirement age, try asking your employer if you can continue working part-time. They might allow you to take a phased retirement so you can make the transition into retirement more slowly. You can read more about working for longer or going part-time in our blog Retirement: no longer black and white.